How to remove silicone lubricant from a treadmill belt?
November 29, 2005 7:20 AM   Subscribe

How can I remove silicone lubricant from my treadmill belt?

Help! In an effort to keep our treadmill serviced I grappled with the idiocy of the user manual. When we bought the treadmill, it came with a small bottle of silicone lubricant, which stayed in the closet until I pulled out the manual. It suggested that every six months (it had been about seven since we bought it) we lubricate the "running deck."

I know, I know I should have thought more than a second, but I mistakenly thought the manual was referring to the belt rather than the surface under the belt.

So I squeezed the silicone lubricant all over the belt and tried to spread it around. And then realized my mistake and cursed the infernal manual for not being more clear (or at least including an illustration).

I called the manufacturer, who suggested I clean the belt with Formula 409 (since it cuts grease, I guess) and a soft brush. I have done so four times. It is better, but the slickness is still there and we can't safely use the treadmill until it's totally gone. I'm also finding that the belt is just starting to slightly "buckle" a little from the moisture of the cleaner.

How can I completely remove the lubricant? Should I keep scrubbing and hope the damage to the belt is minimal? Should I try rubbing alcohol? Any nifty ideas or solutions?
posted by tr33hggr to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total)
Clean it with dish soap or laundry detergent, then let it dry completely.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:03 AM on November 29, 2005

Response by poster: Will this work more effectively than the 409? Should I attempt to rinse off the suds, or just let them air dry? Hand dry with a towel?
posted by tr33hggr at 8:04 AM on November 29, 2005

Silicones are next to impossible to remove. My father worked in an aerospace plant; silicones, including people who had used Pert shampoo within 24 hours, were not allowed within 1000 meters of the clean room. This is because essentially any non-autoclavable part that got silicones on it was ruined.
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:34 AM on November 29, 2005

Response by poster: Is there any substance I can apply to the belt to make it "sticky" again, without ruining it?
posted by tr33hggr at 8:37 AM on November 29, 2005

By accident, the Maytag repair man that fixed my clothes dryer sprayed silicone on the vinyl flooring of my kitchen. For two weeks it was extremely slippery, (there were several wipeouts ) and I tried cleaning it with every solvent/cleaner I had. Nothing worked. After the second week the problem just seem to go away. I guess it just wore off.
posted by R. Mutt at 11:33 AM on November 29, 2005

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